Our mother, Margaret (“Mimi”) Oneal, pulled off her final escape and died on her terms on June 17, 2020. She was 87. Although she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease eight years ago, she still enjoyed dancing, spending time with family and friends, and demonstrating her wicked sense of humor.
Mimi was born in Terre Haute, Indiana, and moved with her mother at the age of 3 months to Beverly Hills, California, where they lived with her grandmother. She started playing tennis at the age of 10, and was an avid tennis player throughout her life. As an adult, she joined the Brookside Club of Saratoga, where she made sure her three daughters learned how to play tennis as well. She enjoyed many life-long friendships that began at Brookside.
She went to Stanford University at the age of 17, and got her degree in Political Science. She drew a lot of attention when she arrived in a limousine along with her best friend, whose grandmother provided the chauffeur.
When her youngest daughter was still a baby, Mimi went into teaching. She taught elementary school for 22 years.
In 1969, she married Dan Oneal, a San Jose attorney. They enjoyed an amazing marriage with a lot of laughter. Every year on their anniversary, he would offer to renew their “contract”. They were married 48 years until his death in 2017. They loved to go to the theater, attend the De Anza Celebrity Forum speaker series, and spend time at the Oneal ranch in the Isabel Valley.
Mimi loved foreign languages, and learned to speak Spanish, French, German, and Italian. She was also an excellent writer, and enjoyed composing her famously funny Christmas letters every year.
Our mother was also active in various clubs, notably To Kalon (where she served as president for one year), her art history club, and her bridge club. She loved to entertain, and always set a beautiful table. Her artistic sense and creativity were also evident in her interior decorating, her well-tended garden, her needlepoint designs, her beading projects, and her decoupage prints.
Mimi is survived by her three daughters, Anne Leeper, Jane (Larry) Friedrich, and Julia Aspinwall; her stepson, Jeff (Susan) Oneal, and stepdaughter, Lynne Oneal; her grandchildren, Matthew Leeper, Nicole Oneal, and Christopher Oneal; and her half-sister Martica Lager Foy.
The family will have a private ceremony at Madronia Cemetery in Saratoga, where she will be laid to rest next to her husband, Dan. A memorial service will be planned at a later date. For anyone interested in sending a gift in her memory, the family would appreciate donations to the Alzheimer’s Association.